As far as my impressions, the ride exceeded my expectations. Basically: vroom. Super-responsive, quick to accelerate, fast rolling. On flat terrain, the bike moved with me, almost effortlessly.... As far as toe overlap with the 50cm Vista frame, this will depend on your shoe size and on whether you have fenders. I experienced a bit of it, but not much....
Depending on whose fit philosophy she follows, a woman of my height could end up on either the 50cm, 54cm, or 58cm Soma Buena Vista. Having tried the extremes of this spectrum, I believe that either size can work, depending on what qualities you are looking for in the bike. When I tried the 58cm Buena Vista last year, its long virtual top tube and high, wide, swept-back handlebars made it feel like a lightweight, faster version of a Dutch bike. By contrast, the 50cm Vista with its low, narrow, upside down North Roads felt like the lovechild or a modern roadbike and a pathracer. Go large for more tame, upright. Go small for more aggressive, roadish. In each case, the bike felt stable and the ride quality was pleasant. At $499 MSRP for the frameset, this fun and versatile machine is a good value. (Dec. 2012)
Saga Touring Bike Reviewed at Paul's Bicycle Pages Nov. '12
... The bike handles as good as it looks. It is much quicker and nimbler than the Surly Truckers yet every bit as rock solid when bombing down a steep hill with 50 pounds of touring gear. Cornering is precise with no tendency to over or under steer. On my 10 day trip over to and down the coast it was a pleasure to ride and comfortable for long days in the saddle. I've been commuting on this bike in all kinds of conditions and it always feels solid and secure.....
So I got to do my Coast Tour and since then have been riding the Saga as my everyday commuter. I really felt like I had the Cadillac of touring bikes compared to what all the people I met on the coast were riding. I know you can tour on lesser bikes but it really is more enjoyable when you have the right equipment. Even with a custom build the Soma Saga is still in the same price range as the Surly LHT and the Salsa Vaya. While they are all good bikes I really feel the Saga is a cut above in quality.
Read the whole thing here.
Soma San Marcos Review in Bicycle Times July '12
...My test bike [63cm size] was built with 32mm wide tires and had an incredibly smooth ride.... Rough roads and smooth gravel were less of an issue for you as long as you're not in a hurry.... The extra [top] tube certainly seemed to help with front end stiffness, as intended...I never detected any lateral flex standing on steep climbs, or shimmy on fast descents... The San Marcos looks good and does everything it was meant to. Read the whole thing here
Lovely Bicycle's Review of the Soma Smoothie May '12
"The Soma Smoothie is an intriguing bike and I am grateful to have it at my disposal for long enough to truly get to know it. My most dominant impression so far is that it is extremely comfortable for something so aggressive and speedy. It strikes me as a good choice for those who "want it all" in a single road bike - speed, comfort, as well as options for commuting and randonneuring - and want it at a reasonable price."
She also was happy she had no toe overlap on her 52cm frame.
More at --- http://lovelybike.blogspot.com/2012/06/soma-smoothie-impressionism.html.
Bicycling Magazine Tests the Buena Vista Mixte Dec. '11
While I admire the beauty of many cruisers and town bikes, some feel frustratingly sluggish. Meanwhile, speedier townies seem to sacrifice the good looks or loungelike comfort I consider essential. The Buena Vista bridges these gaps. It's essentially a road bike that's easy to throw a leg over, thanks to the mixte design. The Tange Infinity steel frame and fork and the high-volume tires ride smoothly on all but the roughest roads. The frame accommodates a range of components; I built mine with a mustache bar and a three-by-eight-speed drivetrain using down-tube shifters for a retro vibe. A drop bar and integrated shifters would look equally at home and would make the bike suitable for longer rides. A number of attachment points let you outfit fenders (it accepts up to 28c tires with fenders; 33c without) and racks, which I took advantage of, easily carrying light loads around town.
Soma Saga: Adventure Cyclist Road Test Aug/Sept '11
...the Saga serves up a very stable, reassuring ride... I was very suprised at how well the Saga climbed while loaded – at no point did I feel as though I was wrestling with the bike... adding weight to the front made the Saga track as if on rails. To download the PDF of the two-page review click here.
Soma Mini Velo Tested by EcoVelo July '11
"pleasantly surprised that it fits and rides almost like a full-sized bike....Numerous times, Michael commented on how easy it was to throw the little bike over her shoulder or toss into the back of our car...how easy it is to park and carry in tight quarters... zippy and nimble"
Soma New Xpress Tire Review on Bicycle Times Aug. '11
"these rugged tires feel plenty supple for everyday use. they mount easily and last a long time (28mm size tested)"
Soma Buena Vista Review in Bicycle Times #11, June '11
"Diced through congested city streets like a Ginsu knife." PDF file
Soma Buena Vista (650b)Review on Lovely Bicycle Blog Apr. '11
"solidly constructed, versatile frame with comfortable geometry"
Soma Double Cross Review in Bicycling, Oct. '10
"The Bike That Does It All"
Soma Buena Vista Review in Paved (Premiere issue)
"offers a fresh take on the mixte"
Soma Double Cross DC Review on BikeCommuters.com and MtnBikeRiders.com (June '10)
"The Soma can fly like a mofo" (Tested with flat bars!)
Bicycle Times, Feb. '10
"The ride quality of the steel was quickly apparent..."
Soma Smoothie Road Frame Review by CycleCambridge.com
"a modern version of that classic steel road bike."
Soma Juice Review by Cool Biking Zone (Feb. '10)
"Reasonably light with a snappy feel on the trail...had my best races finishes of the last 5 years on this bike"
Soma El Toro Pursuit Bar - Urban Velo (Aug. '09)
"Everything about the El Toro gives you the impression that it was built to last"
Soma Everwear Tires - Cog Magazine Skid Test #1 (Nov. '07)
Michelin Erileum 2 - 30 skids to blowout
Specialized Armadillo - 100 skids to blowout
Soma Everwear - 160 skids (then guys were too tired to finish off the tire)
Soma New Xpress Tires - Bike Radar (Aug. '07)
"Excellent, if expensive, lightweight choice where better puncture resistance is needed"
Fixed Gear Gallery
"I ride no handed fairly often to take pressure off my hands. Riding no handed was never a problem on the Rush."
Soma Steel Core Tire Levers - Cyclingnews.com (Dec. '05)
"an elegant solution to the ongoing problem of tight tyre beads on oversized rims"
Soma Morning Rush Reviewed by CampyOnly.com (May '05)